You Probably Didn’t Get Here Through Google

I had to sign up for google webmaster tools to figure out why they weren’t indexing right now, at all. The tools said a bunch of drug spam had been found on the site; it took me a while to figure out where. It was all in cached pages designed to be served up with the “WP-Super-Cache” wordpress plugin. There must be some exploit that lets an attacker seed the cache with spam. Deleted it, turned off the plugin, and politely asked Google to re-index me via the form used for such purposes.

This Facebook thing

There’s something ominous about the sheer momentum of facebook. I’ve never seen an internet phenomenon affect this many people before, and, at least momentarily, really affect their lives. I’ve been on for just a few months and it seems if anything the rate at which I’m seeing people who I never thought I’d hear from again join up and find me is accelerating. When is this going to stop? Is there going to come a time a year or three hence when we’re all, “facebook, remember that? what happened to that thing?” or is it going to change things, like the Web before and after Google, or for that matter, the Internet before and after the Web? (Or more cynically, the Internet before and after the September That Never Ended?)

Will I soon get a facebook friending from Eddie Bresnahan, my best friend who lived next door to me in LaGrange, Illinois, and whom I last saw when I was five, sometime before my family moved to Michigan in 1975?  About whom the only clear thing I remember is that his family owned a Gnip Gnop?

How about Timmy Bolt, who acted up in Kindergarten at the Lutheran school I went to in LaGrange, because his mom was the teacher (and that’s the only thing I remember about him except a vague impression of his appearance)?

How about the little girl named Katie that my mom babysat when I was about four?  How about Becky, the daughter of my mom’s best friend in LaGrange, whom we lost touch with when we moved?

None of the above would surprise me at this point.  I’m expecting friend requests from previous incarnations soon.


Things are tough all over these days.  I thought it’d be worth at least checking to see if I can earn anything from adsense on the blog.  It looks like butt and has sleazy pharmaceutical ads, though.  I’m going to leave them there just in case they do any good, and recommend Adblock Plus to anyone they annoy.

Erik Rinehard Hates Your HDR

Flickr HDR:

The image is woefully over-compressed, with halos merging into random splodges. It is not unlike a large number of images posted on Flickr. It exhibits what some call the ‘HDR look’, and which I call a horrible set of unnecessary artifacts. It is highly unnatural and highlights the dangers of using Photomatix unless you know what you are doing. Please understand that HDR is not a style that you can either like or dislike. High dynamic range imaging has nothing to do with artistic freedom. What you see here is an artifact of the software that you choose to use, in combination with the parameters you choose to abuse.

I really enjoy a lot of pictures that have the “HDR look” he’s talking about.  But when I make them myself, I enjoy them less because I know the procedure to get that look using my software of choice (QTPFSGui) and it tends to come out looking the same, picture after picture.  (QTPFSGui is extremely versatile; it actually allows you to use Rinehard’s preferred techniques instead of the traditionally “HDR-y” looking ones.  Two of Rinehard’s algorithms are available in the latest versions of it.)

Lately I’ve been using exposure fusion instead of doing HDR strictly speaking, because it is more naturalistic, while still kind of interesting.

Reading Rinehard’s piece makes me want to do two things:

  • use his algorithms to make naturalistic cool HDRs he’d approve of
  • use the other algorithms to make wack artificial HDRs he’d hate

In approximately equal measures.